The Indiana CTSI represents a collaborative partnership among the state’s preeminent research enterprises, Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame, that spans all 92 counties in Indiana. Since its founding in 2008, the Indiana CTSI has secured more than $88 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to improve health in Indiana through research. The institute has built research infrastructure in Indiana, attracted top scientific talent to the state and worked to identify and improve our community’s greatest health challenges.
In the past 10 years, the Indiana CTSI has awarded nearly $14 million in pilot funding to initiate important basic, clinical and translational research projects, and CTSI awardees have used that seed funding to secure more than $300 million in additional grant funding to bring their research ideas to fruition—the majority of which will stay in Indiana and benefit our growing research community and improve the lives of Indiana residents who may unknowingly reap the rewards of research projects every day.
Other noteworthy achievements since 2008:
- Our directors, managers and staff have assisted more than 5,000 researchers through 17,000 service offerings.
- We have trained nearly 400 future clinical and translational science investigators.
- Over 1,200 peer-reviewed publications have cited the Indiana CTSI for its support.
- Our ResNet and Clinical Research Center programs have recruited nearly 60,000 research volunteers.
- Our Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science program has helped more than 100,000 patients receive improved care for chronic conditions, such as depression and hypertension.
Stories of impact
Reducing infant mortality in central Indiana
Indiana CTSI supported IU School of Medicine professor Debra Litzelman, who launched the WeCare Indiana program in 2016 to reduce infant mortality and poor birth outcomes in central Indiana. The program has built a network of community health workers trained to connect mothers and mothers-to-be with local health resources such as smoking cessation programs, food banks and safe sleeping environments. Now in its third year, WeCare has engaged more than 1,500 mothers and mothers-to-be so far and is now also training fathers, emergency responders and opiate-addicted mothers. The program has received additional funding from the Indiana State Department of Health, IU’s Addictions Grand Challenge and the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.
Keeping kids safe from lead poisoning in South Bend
Lead levels were recently discovered to be extremely high in children living in downtown South Bend, and in some cases the levels were five times higher than those reported from Flint, Michigan. Leaded paint is a major source of lead exposure to toddlers, who often chew painted surfaces, eat paint chips, or lick leaded paint dust from their hands. The problem extends across the U.S., so finding leaded paint in spaces occupied by small children is important for controlling and mitigating lead exposure. Commercially available home screening tests are expensive and show false positive or negative results with dark paint colors. University of Notre Dame staff and students, supported by the Indiana CTSI and the City of South Bend, are working together to develop and validate a quick field test for leaded paint that works on any paint color and costs less than $1. There are currently 30 homes enrolled in the team’s study, eight of which have been screened so far.
Creating rapid screening technology for deadly opioids
Dirty fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is one of the most dangerous substances in the nation. Because of its small size, fentanyl is one of the easiest opioids to smuggle, however, that also makes it difficult for drug dealers to guess how to dilute the drug. In Indiana, nearly half of the overdose deaths in Marion County are connected to fentanyl exposure. The Indiana CTSI supported a team of researchers at Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) to develop a paper card device that could be used by first responders and law enforcement officers to test street drugs for the presence of substances such as fentanyl and other dangerous opiates. The researchers are working with the Marion County Coroner’s Office to validate the accuracy of the device against toxicology reports. The card device would be a cheap and practical way to help save lives from this epidemic.
Curing a crippling bone disease in children
Indiana CTSI-supported research led by two IU School of Medicine faculty members has culminated in U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of a new drug for patients with an uncommon, painful and deforming bone disease. The drug, burosumab, treats X-linked hypophosphatemia, or XLH. After three decades of bench to bedside research, it was brought to market in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. The first ever human dose of burosumab was administered by an Indiana CTSI Clinical Research Center (CRC) nurse on January 27, 2009. CRC staff conducted study procedures for all clinic study visits associated with the Phase I – III studies (eight studies total), which included 46 patients (aged 1 year to 70 years) and 822 total study visits, and the CRC continues to support this important work with an upcoming Phase IV study.